Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the United States, responsible for a quarter of all deaths and claiming over 500,000 lives every year. Existing cancer vaccines target specific antigens on tumor cells. Since cancer cells are highly prone to mutation, these antigens may not always be present. This limits the effectiveness of existing vaccines. Approaching cancer vaccination from a different angle, we developed an immunogenic tumor-associated stromal cell antigen (TASA) peptide vaccine that targets cells in the connective tissue around the tumor, destroying its support system. By going after markers on the stromal cells rather than the cancer cells themselves, our vaccine could prove useful in fighting a wide array of cancers.
Following vaccination with immunogenic TASA peptides, the host develops an immune response producing T-lymphocytes that recognize TASA antigens neuropilin 1 (NRP1), protein delta homolog 1 (DLK1), and tumor endothelial marker 1 (TEM1). Attacking cells that express these markers decreases tumor vascularization and inhibits cancer progression in the host. In mice, therapeutic vaccines eliciting immune responses against TASA peptides effectively suppressed the growth of melanoma and colon cancers; in most cases this promoted disease regression.
- Broadly effective against many different types of cancer
- Targets stable, less variable stromal cells within and surrounding tumors
- Decrease growth and promote regression of solid vascularized forms of cancer
Stage in Development
in vivo data
US patent 9,345,770 issued
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